A trip to Maui is indeed a journey into paradise, where the temperatures never drift far from the 75-85-degree range with mild humidity.
There are many ways to enjoy a visit to Maui, which is Hawaii’s second largest island, measuring 48 miles long and 26 miles wide.
Below are some entertaining options in the Kapalua and Lahaina region of West Maui.
SNORKELING: Any trip to Hawaii must include at least one snorkeling trip. It’s an activity people of practically any age can enjoy, even people who are basically non-swimmers.
There are numerous rental shops that provide the gear (snorkel, fins, mask), give some quick instruction – if you can comfortably breathe with your head dipped underwater you can do it – and point you to a nearby beach. Equipment rental costs about $20 per day. The tip here: rent for the week, because you will want to do it again.
The crystal-clear waters of Maui are an ideal spot to snorkel and swim among the beautiful undersea creatures, including many giant turtles. Snorkeling charters amp up the fun even more, usually via a large catamaran that transports visitors to the ocean for several hours of underwater adventure.
For a premium snorkeling experience, try an excursion (9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) with Teralani Sailing Adventures. The sleek catamaran departs at Ka’anapali beach and provides a very cool snorkeling experience that concludes with a delicious barbecue lunch and open bar.
For those that love adventure, a Teralani sailing experience is definitely a trip to take for people of all ages. Typically guests experience two premier snorkel destinations (seasonal).
The day starts with some delicious Kona coffee, tropical juices and a continental breakfast. Enjoy your beverage of choice while the Teralani sails toward its destination. Along that route, the helpful crew provides a detailed explanation of the day’s activities, which includes snorkeling or an option to snuba (cross between snorkeling and scuba diving) in the gorgeous blue waters.
The crew goes into great detail offering snorkeling and safety tips to follow. The snuba experience comes with some personal instruction in the water. But note that snuba isn’t for everyone due to the complexities that can arise due to an unnerving pressure that can take place in the ears.
The ocean destinations provide guests with their personal aquarium to explore in roughly a suggested 50-75 yard radius from the catamaran. There are lots of unique, beautiful coral areas to explore. Exotic fish are everyone, but the biggest draw is locating the huge turtles that inhabit these regions. Underwater HD video cameras are available for rent.
After dropping the anchor to snorkel, the crew fires up the grill and prepares a complete BBQ meal right on the boat. Although the bar opens immediately, it’s best to leave the adult drinks for post-snorkeling. The beverage list includes two beers on tap, Mai Tais, vodka, gin, rum and mixers, sodas, tropical juices, lemonade and water.
Teralani Sailing takes place year round, every day but Sunday. Cost is $139 (21-over), $117 (13-20) and $83 for children 3-12. Guests must provide their own towel and sunscreen.
Visit www.teralani.net or call 808 661-7245 for more information.
EVENING ENTERTAINMENT: There are plenty of diversions for a night of fun. One popular choice is spending an evening at the “Burn’n Love Show” – A Tribute to Elvis Presley.
Darren Lee, who is dressed in the legendary outfits, plays the role of Elvis and does it quite well. He not only resembles the “King” in appearance, he has a remarkably similar singing voice and also has a knack for mimicking Elvis’ hip-shaking dance gyrations on stage at the cozy Maui Theater in Lahaina (off Front Street).
Lee brought his show from Las Vegas to Lahaina, and has the crowd rocking in their seats during the energetic 90-minute performance that covers Elvis’ greatest hits, both his vintage rock-and-roll songs and his many touching ballads. The show includes a cast of dancers and musicians who capture the essence of the legendary performer, and includes some great banter between songs from Lee. Even non-Elvis fans should enjoy the high-energy show.
The performances run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, starting at 8 p.m. Cocktails and light snacks are available to take into the theater.
The cost is $60 to $110. A Diamond level ticket ($110) guarantees a seat in the second row, center section,
and includes a “Burn’n Love” CD and tote bag. The price also includes an after-show, meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Lee. The Elvis impersonator provides information on his background and graciously offers plenty of insight in a Q&A session.
Visit www.burnnlove.com/home or call 808 856-7900 for more information.
GOLFING: There are two Kapalua Resort courses that offer completely different experiences. One golf course hosts a PGA tournament and provides some serious shot-making challenges, while a second one serves as a feel-good track that should keep many vacationing golfers smiling and content. Full sets of rental golf clubs are available.
The Kapalua golf complex caters to golfers who want to test their varying abilities while soaking in the exotic Hawaiian landscape and many of its awe-inspiring ocean views.
Built around the natural wonders of the West Maui Mountains, the Plantation Course is easily the toughest of the two Kapalua courses. If the famed trade winds are howling, the course will play much longer and tougher. On the first week of January, the Plantation Course annually hosts the PGA Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where the pros tee it up from the tips, which measure a whopping 7,411 yards.
Those same menacing winds can also create havoc on the more submissive Bay Course at Kapalua. But the scenic Bay Course terrain, which features gentle rolling fairways and lacks the severe slope of Plantation, is still highly playable even in windy conditions. The Bay lacks the teeth of its Kapalua counterpart, thanks to being 811 yards shorter than the Plantation’s back tees.
Visit www.kapalua.com/golf or call 877 527-2582 for more information.
BEACHES: A visit to the beach is naturally a favorite Maui activity. For anyone who loves to surf, wakeboard, body surf, swim, or simply soak up the sun, the D.T. Fleming Beach is a great location that is walking distance from Kapalua Villas.
The waves at D.T. Fleming, which was named America’s Best Beach in 1996, crash into the shore along this mile-long stretch of beautiful white sand and won’t often disappoint anyone seeking some ocean thrills. Beware, sometimes the waves can get downright scary because of their power and strength.